Can Ice Cream Vans Stage a Comeback? | BBC News

For many of us, the distinctive chimes of an ice cream van conjure up happy childhood memories of British summers and dripping ice lollies.

But the number of ice cream vans has been falling for years, leading some to believe that those bells may mean nothing to future generations of children.

A crop of small, family-run businesses is determined to keep the industry alive however.

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Amazon opens up access to developer tools for adding Alexa to commercial products | TechCrunch

Amazon wants to make its virtual assistant Alexa available on more devices, instead of just its own hardware. To that end, the company today is broadly opening up access to developer tools that will allow commercial device makers to build products powered by Alexa. With the launch of the Alexa Voice Service Device SDK toolset, companies can add a fully functional version of Alexa to their devices that’s able to handle speech recognition, as well as other Alexa functionality, like streaming media, using timers and alarms, notifications, weather reports, and accessing the thousands of voice apps, known as Alexa skills.

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Go ahead and include smiley emoji in your work emails if you want to look incompetent | Mashable

Emoji have invaded our texts, Slacks, and even our business emails. But, a new study suggests that including emoji in your work emails may be making you look incompetent. Not ideal, TBH.

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that professional emails which feature “smiley” emoji  actually “decrease perceptions of competence” and don’t convey genuine “warmth.”

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The Favorite Word of Average People: “Okay” | Life Hack

I remember learning the word, “okay,” as a child and marveling at its versatility. It has such a broad meaning that you can use it in many contexts, and as a kid working to communicate with a limited vocabulary, being able to say “okay” carried me through all sorts of scenarios.

As I’ve gotten older, my feelings about the word have changed. Where saying “okay” used to give me freedom, now it holds me back. I’ve learned that in most cases, it’s not okay to say, “OK.”

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You Have 3 Goals the First Time You Meet a Potential Client. Popularity Is Not One of Them | Entrepreneur

Have you ever tried to make someone like you? Turns out, relationships evolve over time. Seller attempts to accelerate the process can be awkward because sales is a profession buyers generally don’t hold in high esteem. When calling at executive levels, sellers may feel a buyer’s time is worth more than theirs. Taking Al Franken’s approach can be deadly — “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

Given the long-standing stereotype of buyer-seller relationships, many salespeople hope buyers will like them. This contributes to sellers failing to view themselves as equals because buyers aren’t making any efforts to get sellers to like them.

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Secrets of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Company | PROFITguide.com

Picking out a new car can be a lot of fun. There’s the sheer kid-in-a-candy-store pleasure of selecting the make, model and colour; testing out cool technology; and luxuriating in that new car smell. But the process of actually paying for that sweet ride? Well, that’s a whole other story—and it’s a particularly unpleasant experience for those who have ever missed a payment, forgotten about a credit card or just never had the chance to build a credit history in the first place. For them, the act of securing financing is akin to an unscheduled colonoscopy, an experience that involves plenty of unpleasant poking and prodding, and almost never ends with a truly happy result.

Cody Green didn’t deliberately set out to change that when he took a sales job at a Hyundai dealership in West Edmonton. Fresh out of university, he intended to make a few bucks to support his musical aspirations, not to change how people purchased automobiles. But after a couple of years in the business (during which he relocated to Saskatoon), he realized there was a flaw in the prevailing sales paradigm, one that, as a natural problem solver, he couldn’t let go. Would-be car owners were too often choosing their dream vehicle only to find themselves ineligible for the financing needed to pay for it, an outcome that left everyone—dealer, consumer, financial institution—frustrated and inconvenienced. “For the customers who didn’t have perfect credit, that process was backwards and broken,” says Green.

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HNA Group of China Is On A Global Buying Binge, But Faces Scrutiny | Fortune.com

The $53 billion Chinese conglomerate already owns a company near you.

On a warm summer night in Paris, hundreds of executives, bankers, diplomats, and French officials walk the red carpet snaking up the steps of the Petit Palais museum—a sumptuous Beaux Arts building in the heart of the French capital, with sculptures and paintings set around a manicured garden. Under 200-year-old frescoes, the guests dine on lobster, duck, and white-chocolate mousse, prepared by a top French chef, washed down with grand cru Bordeaux, and topped off with entertainment from the Peking Opera. Three large red letters affixed to the ornate gates offer a clue about who’s throwing the invitation-only affair: HNA.

To the hundreds of people passing by, the name HNA probably means nothing. But to the business world at large, the presence of those three letters is another sign—if any is needed—that a little-known Chinese conglomerate with provincial roots has, in just a few years, transformed into a powerful global player with tentacles stretching across the planet.

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How to Use Webinars for Every Stage of the Customer Journey | Duct Tape Marketing

Simply put, webinars (online meetings) are a convenient form of content that gives you the ability to create “one to many” engagements. One of the things I love most about them is that you can use webinars for every stage of the customer journey by altering the intent of the content as the buyer’s questions, goals and needs change. In fact, you must consider this approach to get the most from this medium.

Think of webinars as a form of content, because that’s what they are.

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3 Startups Helping the Medical Industry Go Remote | The Startup Magazine

With the internet integrally involved in nearly every aspects of our lives, it only follows that we are seeing a burgeoning online medical service industry. Startups have been rethinking the medical industry to increase efficiency and offer online options as essential as online banking, shopping, and entertainment have become in the last few years.

Booking appointments with doctors, managing billing and finances, waiting endless hours at a doctor’s office and repeating the process whenever needed – is what the following startups are aiming to eliminate:

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Do Other Planets Have Solar Eclipses? | Live Science

As Earthlings, we have the privilege of ooohing and aaahing at total solar eclipses, those dazzling celestial events in which the moon blocks the sun’s light from hitting our planet. But is Earth the only world in our solar system that experiences this spectacular phenomenon?

The answer is no. Total solar eclipses can happen on other planets too, as long as they have moons that are big enough to cover the sun’s disk from the planet’s perspective and orbit the planet on the same plane as the sun, astronomers told Live Science.

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